Best Air Purifier 2017 – Buyer’s Guide
4.7 (93.33%) 9 votes

I’m sure I won’t surprise you when I say:

Air quality is very important to your health and well-being.

You might also know that breathing clean and pure air has become a difficult mission. Smog, exhaust, pollen, and dust are polluting our homes…

Well, the good news is it doesn’t have to be this way. Air purifiers can help you deal with these pollutants.

But finding the right one is not an easy job, right?

best-air-purifier-2017

What Is the Best Air Purifier for 2017?

There are many things to consider when it comes to finding a suitable air cleaner. 

Remember this:

A single product that’s right for everyone doesn’t exist.

Your personal needs, the size of your home, and your budget will determine which air purifier is the best for you. Before taking a closer look at our reviews, I recommend you read our Air Purifier Buying Guide.

Below is our summary table with the best air purifiers for 2017 and reviews for each selected model in its category.

ProductCADR
Room Size (sq ft)
Price
Check Price
Coway Mighty (Editor's choice)Dust - 246 / Pollen - 240 / Smoke 233240$$$Check Price
GermGuardian AC4825 (Bestseller)Smoke - 100+ (Estimated)100$Check Price
Honeywell HHT-011Dust - 55 / Pollen - 65 / Smoke 5560 - 70$Check Price
Winix 5500-2Dust - 243 / Pollen - 246 / Smoke 232240$$ to $$$Check Price
Alen BreatheSmartSmoke 270 - 300 (estimated)270 - 300$$$$$Check Price
Honeywell HPA-300Dust - 320 / Pollen - 300 / Smoke 300300$$Check Price
Winix WAC9500Dust - 182 / Pollen - 194 / Smoke 183180$$$ to $$$$Check Price
Whirlpool WhispureDust - 325 / Pollen - 401 / Smoke 315340$$$Check Price
GermGuardian AC5250PTSmoke 125 (estimated)125 - 145$$Check Price
Honeywell 50250-S (Editor's choice)Dust - 250 / Pollen - 250 / Smoke 250250$$Check Price
ProductCADR
Room Size (sq ft)
Check Price
Coway MightyDust - 246 / Pollen - 240 / Smoke 233240
GermGuardian AC4825Smoke - 100+ (Estimated)

100
Honeywell HHT-011Dust - 55 / Pollen - 65 / Smoke 55
60 - 70
Winix 5500-2Dust - 243 / Pollen - 246 / Smoke 232240
Alen BreatheSmartSmoke 270 - 300 (estimated)270 - 300
Honeywell HPA-300Dust - 320 / Pollen - 300 / Smoke 300300
Winix WAC9500Dust - 182 / Pollen - 194 / Smoke 183180
Whirlpool WhispureDust - 325 / Pollen - 401 / Smoke 315340
GermGuardian AC5250PTSmoke 125 (estimated)125 - 145
Honeywell 50250-SDust - 250 / Pollen - 250 / Smoke 250250

1. Coway AP-1512HH Mighty – Best Performing Air Purifier

First on our list of Best Air Purifiers 2017 is the Coway AP-1512HH Mighty.

This air cleaner was tested and voted the best performing air purifier two times in a row (2014 and 2016)!

Highlights

  • Very powerful
  • Low operating costs
  • Best for removing allergens

Technology and Filtering System

With the Coway air purifier, you get a powerful 4-stage cleaning system:

  • Pre-filter to capture larger particles
  • Carbon filter to eliminate odors and gases
  • True HEPA filtration to remove tiny allergens
  • Vital Ion technology to kill airborne bacteria and viruses

Although air ionizers are known to produce a lung irritant called ozone, the Coway Mighty has been certified by the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Resources Board (ARB) as producing ozone in extremely low or non-existent quantities. It’s still best to be cautious, so if you are a sensitive user, you should turn the ionizer off when spending time close to the unit.

The Coway air purifier is not the best when it comes to its odor-controlling abilities. It does eliminate cigarette smoke, and household smells from the air, but if getting rid of bad smells is your main concern, the Mighty might not be the best choice for you.

Unit Size

The Mighty Air has a compact design, and it only weighs a little over 12 pounds. It is thus very easy for you to move it from room to room if you need to.

Its beautiful and modern design is one of the things I like most about this air cleaner:

It blends into the background perfectly, both visually and aurally.

If you are looking for a cleaner for your bedroom, then Coway is a perfect choice. Air purifier reviews say the device runs extremely quiet, especially on the LOW setting.

Capacity and Area Covered

The device is meant to be used in larger rooms up to 361 square feet and is CADR rated 240. As recommended in the Buying Guide and based on its capacity, the Mighty performs best if your room is up to 240 square feet in size.

Filter Change

The Coway air purifier officially requires a filter change every 6 to 12 months. If you don’t run it 24/7, you might be able to extend the filter life. It is one of the cheapest units to operate.

Overall, the Coway AP-1512HH Mighty is the best performing home air purifier out on the market today:

Sensibly priced and one of the cheapest machines to maintain long-term, its performance tops others costing two or even three times as much.

Additional features

  • Air quality indicator
  • Auto mode to adjust the speed based on air quality
  • Eco mode to automatically switch off if no pollution is detected in 30 minutes

PROS

Cons

Best for dust and pollen allergies Use of ionizer (can be switched off)
Powerful 4-stage cleaning system Not the best for removing odors and smoke
Quiet
Low operating costs
Energy Star Certified

2. GermGuardian AC4825 – Best-Selling Air Cleaner

GermGuardian AC4825 Air Purifier is next on our list.

It is the number one best seller online and is highly rated by thousands of users.

Highlights

  • Affordable
  • Quiet
  • Works best in small spaces

Technology and Filtering System

GermGuardian comes with a 3-in-1 air cleaning system:

  • A pre-filter with activated carbon captures large particles and reduces cooking smells, tobacco smoke and odors from pets.
  • A True HEPA filter captures airborne allergens like dust mites, mold spores, plant pollens and pet dander.
  • UV-C light kills airborne bacteria and viruses. It also activates a chemical which further eliminates odors caused by cooking, pets and smoking.

Unit Size

This affordable air cleaner has a beautiful modern design, and it only weighs 7 pounds. If you need to move it around your home, it is easily portable.

The ultra-quiet operating system means GermGuardian can be kept running all night and even used in your bedroom or office.

Capacity and Area Covered

According to the manual, the GermGuardian AC4825 is ideal for use in medium-size rooms up to 155 square feet and CADR is estimated at 100+.

Our recommendation is to use it for small spaces around 100-125 square feet in size to get the most out of it.

The use of UV-C light is a place for concern in this GermGuardian air purifier. Ultraviolet-C lamps are known to produce ozone which is harmful in large doses.

Although this particular model uses a higher wavelength and is not supposed to emit any ozone, don’t use it in rooms where babies, the elderly or people who are sensitive to lung irritants spend the majority of their time.

Filter Change

GermGuardian has two parts that need to be replaced from time to time:

The UV-C bulb needs to be replaced about every 10-12 months, depending on use. 

You need to change the 3-in-1 HEPA filter every 6-8 months. If you want to lengthen the life of the HEPA filter, you can also purchase a separate pack for carbon filters which will last you for about a year.

The operating costs for the GermGuardian purifier are somewhere between $80-$90 dollars a year.

In summary, this air purifier is one of the highest recommended by users at the moment:

The efficient 3-in-1 cleaning system filters our allergens from the air, eliminates odors and cleans the air by killing airborne bacteria and viruses. It’s got a beautiful design, it’s easy to use and maintain, it’s very quiet AND affordable at the same time.

Additional features

Filter and UV-C bulb replacement reminders

PROS

Cons

Best for dust and pollen allergies Use of UV-C light (can be switched off)
Highly recommended by other users Covers only very small rooms
Small, light and easily portable Not very powerful
Energy Star Certified High operating costs
Quiet

3. Honeywell HHT-011 – Best Budget Air Purifier

Honeywell HHT-011 is #3 in our list as the best budget air purifier.

It is the perfect choice for you if you don’t have any allergies and you just need an air purifier for dust removal.

Highlights

  • Cheap
  • Best for removing dust and not allergens
  • Suitable for very small rooms

Technology and Filtering System

This small air cleaner uses a 3-stage air filtration system which includes a HEPA-Type filter.

Before I can move on, you need to know this:

There is a significant difference between HEPA-Type and True HEPA filters.

More information on this can be found in our Buying Guide, but in short, True HEPA filters are certified to clean 99.97% of very small airborne allergens from the air. The filter used in this Honeywell air purifier filters out only up to 95% of larger dust, pollen, and pet dander particles.

Now:

It may not sound that different to you, but if you’re suffering from allergies or asthma, only an air purifier with True HEPA filtration can make a difference.

Besides the HEPA-Type filter, the Honeywell air cleaner also uses a washable pre-filter to capture larger particles and an air ionizer to kill airborne bacteria.

Be careful with the ionizer as it may produce some ozone as it runs.

Unit Size

The best thing about the Honeywell air purifier is its size and weight. It’s perfect for use on tabletops or stacks of books, and it works best in small rooms.

Users have noted that it’s quite loud even at its lowest setting, so it is best if you use it in living spaces and not your bedroom.

Capacity and Area Covered

It is intended for spaces up to 85 square feet in size, but it actually works best in small rooms sized around 60-70 square feet.

Filter Change

The Honeywell HHT-011 comes with a permanent HEPA-Type filter, which can be vacuumed over and over. The pre-filter is washable, meaning this air purifier comes with virtually no operating costs.

To sum it up, if you don’t have any allergies and you just want an air cleaner that will get rid of dust and larger particles, the Honeywell purifier is the right choice for you. It comes cheap, the filters can be cleaned and reused, and the device is hardly noticeable due to its small size.

Additional features

Nightlight

PROS

Cons

Works well for clearing dust Doesn’t eliminate allergens as it doesn’t use a True HEPA filter
Cheap Doesn’t eliminate smells
Small in size Not very powerful
Washable pre-filter Efficient only in very small rooms
Permanent HEPA-Type filter Louder than its competition
Low operating costs (no need to change filters) Use of air ionizer although it is switchable
Not Energy Star Certified

4. Winix 5500-2 – Best Air Cleaner for Removing Chemicals

Winix 5500-2 is on our list as the best air purifier for removing chemicals from the air.

It is the second best-performing air purifier available* and one of the few specifically designed to deal with potentially harmful vapors and gases in our homes.

*TheSweetHome.com

Highlights

  • Specifically designed to remove harmful gases from the air
  • Low operating costs
  • Unit is large and heavy

Technology and Filtering System

The Winix 5500-2 comes with a 3-stage air cleaning technology:

  • A carbon filter eliminates harmful VOCs and reduces smells from smoking, pets and cooking.

In case you’re wondering:

VOCs are gases or vapors that are emitted by everyday household items such as paints, glues, disinfectants, etc.

The advanced odor control carbon filter also acts as a pre-filter. It catches large particulate matter from the air and helps to extend the life of the True HEPA filter.

  • The True HEPA filter reduces the number of allergens in the air.
  • A special PlasmaWave Technology breaks down smells, chemical vapors, allergens, and other indoor pollutants without producing any ozone.

The PlasmaWave technology is meant to eliminate both chemicals and airborne bacteria and viruses. Although it isn’t meant to produce any ozone, I wouldn’t let it run overnight.

Furthermore, PlasmaWave alone might not be enough to remove toxins from your home, so if removing these types of pollutants is a priority, I would opt for something like the Winix WAC9500reviewed below.

Unit Size

This Winix air purifier is quite large and heavy so it might be best to use it in one specific room. Four available fan speeds let you run it at the intensity you wish and all, except the turbo mode, are running virtually with no noise at all.

Capacity and Area Covered

The device is designed to be used in rooms up to 360 square feet in size. It is CADR rated 243 for dust, 246 for pollen, and 232 for smoke. For best results, we recommend you use it in a room around 240 square feet in size.

Filter Change

The True HEPA filter needs to be changed once a year, the carbon filter every 3-6 months, depending on usage.

Overall, the Winix 5500-2 home air purifier is an impressive machine, considering it’s the only one out of all reviewed that is specifically designed to remove harmful chemicals from the air. The True HEPA and carbon filters also remove allergens and odors, making it one of the most efficient purifiers available.

Additional features

  • Auto dim feature
  • Air quality sensors
  • Auto mode to adjust the speed based on air quality
  • Filter replacement indicator
  • Remote control

PROS

Cons

Good for dust and pollen allergies Larger than other units
Designed to remove chemicals from the air Use of PlasmaWave (ionizer)
Washable carbon filter High operating costs
Powerful
Energy Star Certified
Quiet

5. Alen BreatheSmart – Best Customizable Air Purifier

The Alen BreatheSmart HEPA air purifier comes highly recommended and is the best customizable air purifier available today.

Choose between 4 different types of HEPA-Like filters and 15 panel colors and textures.

Highlights

  • Highly customizable design
  • Choose your own air purification system
  • Doesn’t use True HEPA filters

Technology and Filtering System

There are four different types of HEPA-Like filters available. All of them remove allergens and dust, but each is customized to answer your personal needs.

Note:

It comes with HEPA-Like filters, not True HEPA filters. If you have severe allergies or asthma, an air purifier with True HEPA filtration is a safer choice for you.

  • HEPA-Pure is the standard filter, which removes everyday allergens like dust, mold spores, pet dander and pollen.
  • HEPA-Silver is perfect if you want to get rid of germs and mold.
  • HEPA-FreshPlus is designed to remove chemicals, smoke and VOCs.
  • HEPA-OdorCell is an odor neutralizer, which uses special technology to break down diaper and pet odors.

The HEPA-Type filters come with a combination of pre- and carbon filters, depending on the make.

Unit Size

BreatheSmart’s design is one of the things users love most about this premium air purifier. The different colors and textures available for the panels allow you to find the type of machine that fits in with your home décor.

Capacity and Area Covered

This Alen air purifier is the most expensive one reviewed in this article. I’m sure you agree that customizability definitely has a price. Another thing that makes it so expensive though is the area it’s supposedly capable of covering.

This rather small but powerful machine (estimated CADR rating 270-300) is being recommended for use in large and open concept rooms up to 1100 square feet in size by the manufacturer.

However, based on its capacity, it performs best in much smaller rooms – up to 280 square feet in size.

A powerful machine like this can hardly be quiet. Although the manufacturer describes the noise levels as ‘whisper’, ‘light rainfall’, ‘rainfall’, and ‘box fan on medium’, users have noted that all available speeds are fairly loud.

Filter Change

No matter which type of HEPA-Like filter your chosen machine uses, it needs to be replaced about once a year. The unit does feature a pre-filter, which is washable and reusable.

All in all, if the design and customizable options are important for you and money is no object, the Alen BreatheSmart air purifier is the best choice. There is currently no other brand that offers this level of customization together with this level of power.

Additional features

  • SmartSensor to adjust to changing air quality
  • Filter change indicator
  • Timer
  • Auto and sleep modes

PROS

Cons

Good for eliminating odors, VOCs, dust and larger particles Doesn’t use a True HEPA filter
Powerful Suitable for spaces almost four times smaller than recommended by the manufacturer
Highly customizable Expensive when compared to other purifiers
15 different panel colors to choose from High operating costs
Lifetime warranty Runs fairly loud
Energy Star Certified

6. Honeywell True HEPA Allergen Remover – Best Air Purifier for Allergies

The Honeywell True HEPA Allergen Remover is listed as the best air purifier for allergies in our guide.

Users rate it very highly, and most of them agree that their homes are undeniably cleaner and the air better to breathe when using this unit.

Highlights

  • Good for mold, dust, and pollen related allergies
  • Very powerful
  • Works well in large rooms

Technology and Filtering System

Like most of the air purifiers in our list, this Honeywell air cleaner uses a True HEPA filter, which is designed to clean the air from airborne particulate matter. It also uses an activated carbon pre-filter which eliminates smells. However, it’s not its strongest suit.

It uses three HEPA filters, which give it extra purifying power.

Unit Size

Honeywell HPA300 is medium sized and has a nice modest design. It weighs 21 pounds, so it may not be the easiest machine to move around your home. It comes with three different speeds + Turbo clean, and you’ll be happy to know that the lower speed levels run quietly.

Capacity and Area Covered

HPA300 is a very powerful machine as it is CADR rated 300. That’s another reason why it’s so effective in providing clean air and maintaining the air quality.

It is recommended to use it in large rooms up to 465 square feet, but my recommendation is to use it in a room up to 300 square feet in size.

Filter Change

HEPA filters need to be changed about once a year, depending on use. The carbon filter should be changed every 3 months for best performance. 

Overall, the Honeywell Allergen Remover is a simple but very powerful air cleaner designed to remove the most common allergens from the air. Its cleaning power and triple HEPA filter system make it the best buy if you are seeking allergy relief.

There’s one more thing I need to make clear though:

Air cleaners are not magic bullets and will not CURE you of anything. If you suffer from severe allergies, relying on a machine alone will probably not do you any good.

There are quite a few different types of allergies, and there are many things you can do on your own to ensure your home is pollutant free.

Vacuuming, mopping, dusting floors/furniture regularly, and keeping pets outside will go a long way in reducing the allergens from your home.

However, many allergists recommend their patients try air purifiers and see if they work for them. Make sure to wait about 4 to 6 weeks to begin seeing the benefits of an air cleaner.

Additional features

  • 2, 4, 8-hour timer
  • Filter replacement reminders

PROS

Cons

Good for mold, dust, and pollen allergies High-speed levels run loud
Very powerful Doesn’t eliminate odors very well
Works well in large rooms
Runs quietly at lower speeds
Energy Star Certified
Ozone free (doesn’t use an ionizer)
Moderate operating costs

7. Winix WAC9500 Ultimate Pet – Best Purifier for Pets

The Winix WAC9500 Ultimate Pet True HEPA air cleaner with PlasmaWave technology is voted the best air purifier for pets and pet hair by hundreds of users.

It is the highest rated air cleaner we’ve reviewed in this article.

Highlights

  • Very efficient for removing short hairs
  • Fast epilation
  • Cordless
  • Wet&Dry

Technology and Filtering System

Winix Ultimate Pet has a 5-stage air cleaning system, making it very effective in eliminating pet hair, odors and killing germs. It works just as well when it comes to cleaning the air from other household smells and airborne allergens.

Let me tell you a little bit more about the way the Winix air purifier works:

  • The purifying process starts with an antibacterial pre-filter, which collects large particles like pet hair and lint.
  • Next, the air moves through the True HEPA filter, which captures pet dander and other impurities.
  • Then, a shield of silver particles neutralizes bacteria and viruses.
  • The washable carbon filter traps and neutralizes strong odors
  • The special PlasmaWave technology further neutralizes chemical vapors, odors, viruses, and bacteria in the air.
The PlasmaWave technology creates positive and negative ions to eliminate viruses and bacteria. Although Winix air purifiers are California ARB Certified, I wouldn’t run this feature overnight.

Unit Size

The Winix WAC9500 is one of the largest units we’ve reviewed here. It measures 16.5 x 8.9 x 21.9 inches and weighs a little over 24 pounds.

You would think that a large machine like this is very loud, but you’ll be surprised to hear that low to medium levels are barely audible.

Capacity and Area Covered

WAC9500 is CADR rated 182 for dust, 194 for pollen and 183 for tobacco smoke. The manufacturer recommends to use it in a room up to 283 square feet in size. Based on its capacity, it better fits a medium sized room about 180 square feet in size.

Filter Change

This Winix air purifier comes with a washable pre- and carbon filter, which means these can be cleaned and used over and over. The All-in-One filter cassette should be changed about once a year, although it depends on usage. 

In summary, the Winix Ultimate Pet is not the most powerful cleaner out there, but its 5-stage technology ensures the air gets thoroughly purified from pet hair and dander. The anti-bacterial pre-filter, Nano Silver shield and the PlasmaWave technology effectively neutralize germs, bacteria and viruses.

Additional features

  • Bright and dimmed LED lights
  • Remote control
  • Smart sensors with Auto Mode to measure air quality
  • Filter replacement reminders

PROS

Cons

Perfect for getting rid of pet hair and smell Medium power
Efficiently kills germs and bacteria High operating costs
Washable pre-filter Use of PlasmaWave (ionizer)
Washable carbon filter
5-stage technology
Energy Start Certified

8. Whirlpool Whispure AP51030K – Best Air Cleaner for Large Rooms

Due to its capacity, Whispure AP51030K is the best air purifier for large rooms in our list.

It is the best known and most popular air purifier from Whirlpool!

Highlights

  • Very powerful
  • Works well in large rooms
  • High operating costs

Technology and Filtering System

This Whirlpool home air cleaner is a simple yet effective machine.

It features a 3-stage air filtration system:

  • The outside corpus acts as a pre-filter
  • Carbon filter eliminates unwanted smells
  • True HEPA filter cleans the air from microscopic particles which can worsen asthma and allergy symptoms

Unit Size

When it comes to size and design, the AP51030K is on the larger and heavier side, making it more suitable for use in one particular room. It does feature built-in handles for better transportation should you wish to move it. It comes in black and white and though big, it still has a nice modest design.

Capacity and Area Covered

Whirlpool Whispure is one powerful machine!

What truly stands out from other similar units is the size of the area it’s capable of covering and its clean air delivery rate. The AP51030K is CADR rated 325 for dust, 401 for pollen and 315 for smoke, making it one of the most powerful cleaners in a very competitive price range.

Keep in mind that these numbers have been achieved by using the top speed, which is very noisy to run long term.

Manufacturer recommended area is 490 square feet in size, but it is much more effective in a slightly smaller room sized up to 340 square meters.

Out of all air purifiers reviewed here, the Whirlpool Whispure is the best air purifier for large rooms!

Filter Change

Whirlpool recommends changing the carbon filter every 3 months and the HEPA filter once a year. 

Although it is safest to use filters produced by the same manufacturer, there are generic filters that cost less than the original, and many users say they work the same. Ultimately, the risk is up to you.

Now to the best part:

Unlike other manufacturers, Whirlpool’s HEPA replacement filter fits many other models as well. This means that filters are widely available and will be for the unforeseeable future!

All in all, although nothing special when it comes to its technology, Whirlpool AP51030K is perfect for you if you need a powerful air purifier for a very large room.

Additional features

  • Sleep mode
  • Filter replacement indicators separate for HEPA and carbon filters

PROS

Cons

Perfect for dust, pollen, and mold related allergies Runs loud at higher speeds
Very powerful Doesn't especially eliminate heavy odors
Competitive price Quite large in size
Replacement filters widely available High operating costs
Capable of covering a very large area
Energy Star Certified

9. GermGuardian AC5250PT – Best Budget Air Purifier for Smoke

The GermGuardian AC5250PT Pet Pure air purifier is a newer and slightly more powerful version of the previously reviewed GermGuardian AC4825.

It is on our list as the best budget air purifier for smoke specifically for the extra cleaning power. What’s more, hundreds of users agree it’s great for eliminating unpleasant smells from their homes!

Highlights

  • High user satisfaction when it comes to eliminating smells
  • Very quiet
  • High operating costs

Technology and Filtering System

AC5250PT comes with a 3-in-1 cleaning system:

  • An activated carbon pre-filter to capture large airborne particles and eliminate odors
  • A True HEPA filter to catch allergens and other harmful matter from the air.
  • The UV-C light technology destroys germs, viruses, bacteria and mold
The GermGuardian Pet Pure can feel too bright for some users. The on-switch is bright red, and the ionizer features a bright blue light when switched on.

Why is it better than the previous version?

The HEPA filter is treated with an anti-microbial agent which prevents mildew, mold and odor-causing bacteria from growing on the surface of the filter. This is a great feature if you’re worried about germs.

Unit Size

When compared to the model reviewed above, the Pet Pure purifier is a little bit heavier and a little bit taller. It is still a great portable air cleaner, though.

It comes with 5 different speeds, including an ultra-quiet sleep mode. If you are looking for an air cleaner that could run 24/7, this is the best pick for you!

The lower speeds are virtually noiseless while higher levels are reported too high by some users.

Capacity and Area Covered

GermGuardian’s recommended room size for best performance is up to 193 square feet. However, having an estimated CADR rating of 125+ means it’s better suited for smaller rooms up to 125-145 square feet in size.

Filter Change

Because there’s a special anti-microbial agent covering the True HEPA filter and slightly different measurements, the AC5250PT model uses a different set of filters.

Ideally, you should change the all-in-one filter every 6-8 months, but if you want to prolong the life of the True HEPA filter, replacing the carbon filter is recommended every 3 months or so.

In summary, the GermGuardian AC5250PT is listed as the best budget air purifier for smoke because of its higher air cleaning capacity compared to the AC4825 model. This device can be used in slightly larger rooms and its compact size, nice design and quiet operating make it a good choice for you if you are on a budget.

Additional features

  • Up to 8-hour timer
  • Sleep mode
  • Filter and UV-C bulb replacement reminders

PROS

Cons

Good for eliminating odors and particulate matter Use of ionizer (can be switched on and off)
Anti-microbial treatment kills mold and mildew on the filter Not very powerful
Reasonable price High operating costs
Compact and attractive design Suitable for small rooms only
Energy Star Certified Higher speeds run loud

10. Honeywell 50250-S – Best Value Air Purifier

The 50250-S is Honeywell’s best-selling model and the best value air purifier in our list.

You will appreciate its durability, low operating costs and air cleaning ability!

Highlights

  • Low operating costs
  • Powerful
  • Loud on all speeds

Technology and Filtering System

The Honeywell air purifier 50250-S is a very simple machine:

  • It uses an activated carbon pre-filter to capture large particles and reduce common household smells from cooking, smoking and pets.
  • The True HEPA filter cleans the air from airborne allergens and other particulate matter.

Unit Size

The 50250-S is quite large, although not so heavy, which means it can be transported around the house easily if you need to. It features a simple and modest design.

The device comes with three different speeds but is not suitable for use in your sleeping room as it runs loud on all three levels.

Capacity and Area Covered

The Honeywell True HEPA Air Purifier has a CADR rating of 250, which is quite high considering its price range. Honeywell recommends to use it in large rooms up to 390 square feet but based on its capacity, it actually works best in a room up to 250 square feet in size.

Filter Change

This model comes with a long-life True HEPA filter which needs to be replaced only every 3-5 years. It helps you save a lot of money!

The carbon activated pre-filter lasts for 3 months. You can vacuum it regularly to extend its life, but if getting rid of smells is important for you, change the carbon filter as instructed. It will ensure effective odor reduction and will also extend the life of the HEPA filter it covers.

The operating costs are very low, which means the 50250-S is the best value air purifier on the market today.

Honeywell 50250-S is not Energy Star Certified, which means it can use a lot of power if you run it 24/7.
All in all, 50250-S is a great value air purifier as it’s very powerful and helps to eliminate allergens from the air very fast. It’s simple, cheap and has low operating costs. It is the best buy for you if you are looking for a powerful unit at a great price.

Additional features

Filter replacement indicator

PROS

Cons

Good for reducing airborne allergens Not Energy Start Certified
Reasonably priced Runs loud at all speeds
Low operating costs
Powerful
Works well in large rooms

How to Choose the Best Air Purifier – Buying Guide

Have you noticed that no matter how often you clean your home, there is always some dust lying around?

And what’s even worse:

Invisible allergens like pollen, pet dander and fumes are very hard to get rid of. If you have allergies or asthma, this can cause a serious problem for you.

While it’s not possible to remove all the particles and allergens from the air, a high-quality, portable air purifier can significantly improve the quality of the air in your home.

Before choosing your air cleaner either from the list above or somewhere else, I recommend you read our Air Purifier Buying Guide to know what to look for in the right product.

Technology and Filtering System

The efficiency of the air purifier will depend on the technology and filter type it uses. Most air purifier brands incorporate all available types into their models in one way or another.

A pre-filter is necessary to capture large particulate matter like dust, lint and hair which would otherwise reach other filters and reduce their efficiency.

A HEPA filter captures airborne allergens like dust mites, pet dander and pollen, which are known to cause problems for sensitive people.

Keep in mind:

A HEPA-Type filter is NOT the same as True HEPA filter. True HEPA filters are proven to trap at least 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns in size. HEPA-Type or HEPA-Like filters capture a smaller percentage of much bigger airborne particulate matter. The use of HEPA-Type/HEPA-Like filters is mainly meant to confuse novice buyers!

An activated carbon filter removes harmful gases and household odors like cooking smells and tobacco smoke from the air.

Some brands incorporate ionic filters, UV lights, or plasma technologies to kill airborne bacteria, viruses and/or eliminate strong odors.

It’s important to know that ionizers are known to produce ozone, which can be harmful in large dozes. Keep that in mind, especially if you are prone to asthma.

Some manufacturers use additional methods to get rid of microbes and germs, such as treating filters with anti-bacterial agents or using silver particles.

Efficiency and Capacity

When it comes to technical stuff, the CADR rating is one of the main things to consider.

CADR or the Clean Air Delivery Rate shows you how many cubic feet of air can be filtered in one minute. The value is assigned by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) and describes the purifier’s ability to remove dust, pollen or smoke from specific amount of air.

In short, the higher the CADR, the more powerful the air purifier is and the more air gets purified.

Unit Size and Area Covered

When picking the right air purifier for your home, make sure you consider the size of the room you want to clean and the size of your chosen air cleaner. Some models are rather large and thus take up a lot more space, while others are designed to be compact and are better suited for smaller rooms.

The manufacturer will list the area the air cleaner works best in, but do not rely on the information they provide!

There are two ways you can ensure you get a powerful enough purifier to match your needs:

Choose a model that covers more square footage than the size of your room/flat

OR

Choose a cleaner with a capacity of CADR 1 per 1 square foot.

Choosing a device which covers a larger room means you can run it at a lower (and quieter) setting instead of blasting it at a noisy, full speed. Secondly, our homes are not air-tight like the laboratories where the equipment is tested in, so new pollutants come in through leaky windows and open doors constantly. A more powerful device will ensure the air is cleaned more efficiently.

Quietness

If you want to run the air cleaner in your bedroom or your office, it’s important to consider the level of noise the device produces. Some models are designed to be quieter than others. Also, as mentioned above, it is recommended to choose a model with a slightly higher square feet capacity than you need, so you could run the cleaner at a lower and quieter setting throughout the day/night.

Filter change

Besides the cost of your chosen air purifier, there will be additional operating costs for electricity and filter replacement.

Depending on how often you use your chosen product, you typically need to replace filters every three to twelve months. The prices for different types of air purifier filters range between $10 to $200, depending on the model.

Picking a unit with a pre-filter could help you extend the life of the HEPA filter as it captures large airborne particles first. Some units come with washable and thus reusable filters.

To reduce operating costs, make sure your air purifier is Energy Star labeled. These units are energy-efficient, saving you money while reducing greenhouse gas emissions at the same time.

Additional features

When you are doing research on which air purifier to buy, think about whether any additional features are important to you. Specifications like shut-off timers, air quality sensors, filter/UV light life indicators and more have been added to many of the newest models.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do air purifiers do?

Air purifiers remove tiny particles, allergens, and harmful chemicals from the air in your home. They can also be useful in eliminating strong smells from pets, cooking, and smoking. Air purifiers move the air through multiple layers of filters and prevent the particles from floating back into the air.

How do air purifiers work?

Air purifiers use different types of technology to clean the air from potentially harmful particles:

  • Pre-filters capture larger particles like hair, dust, and lint
  • Carbon filters eliminate pollutants that create odors and gasses
  • HEPA filters trap up to 99.97% of even the tiniest allergens
  • Ionizers eliminate viruses and bacteria by producing ions that latch onto these harmful particles, causing them to become heavy and fall to the ground
  • UV radiation destroys germs, mold, bacteria, and viruses by breaking apart their molecular structure

Depending on your chosen brand and model, an air cleaner can use some or all of these techniques to clean the air.

Who should consider buying an air purifier?

Since indoor air is two to five times more polluted than outdoor air, anyone can benefit from an air cleaner. That is especially true if you live in a large city or live/work nearby busy roads where clean air is hard to come by.

Air purifiers can be very useful for people who suffer from asthma or allergies caused by airborne allergens. Air cleaning machines with HEPA filters are very efficient in eliminating these types of irritants. It’s important to understand that air purifiers will not cure you of your allergies or asthma. The best way to keep your home pollutant free is by dusting/vacuuming/mopping often. That said, an air purifier can help ease your symptoms and is definitely worth a try.

Are air purifiers worth it?

Considering the cost of air purifiers and the time required to maintain them, it’s only natural to wonder whether air purifiers are really worth it.

The truth is, it really depends on your needs:

If you’re someone who is not sensitive to air quality and you’ve lived your whole life without any issues, you’re probably fine without it.

If you’re someone who suffers from allergies caused by dust mites (non-airborne allergens), you’re better off with hypoallergenic sheets and a regular dusting/vacuuming routine.

Then again:

If airborne allergens are an issue for you, an air purifier can help ease the symptoms. You shouldn’t rely on them completely, but they can definitely make a difference in the air you breathe.

Additionally, air purifiers can be very efficient in eliminating bad odors and cooking smells, keeping your home clean and removing harmful chemicals if that’s something you’re worried about.

Which air purifier is the best?

It’s not easy to answer this question as it depends on your needs:

  • Do you need an air purifier that helps ease the symptoms of asthma and allergies? The best air purifier for you will come with a True-HEPA filter.
  • Do you want to eliminate bad smells? The best air cleaner is something that comes with a high-quality carbon filter.
  • Are you or someone from your family often sick? A purifier with an ionizer or UV-C light will help eliminate airborne bacteria and viruses.
  • Do just need to reduce the amount of dust lying around? A cheap and/or basic cleaner might be right for you.

Are air purifiers safe?

Some air purifiers can produce trace amounts of ozone (the same component found in urban smog), which is considered to be a lung irritant and can actually worsen the symptoms of asthma or other respiratory diseases. Elderly people, young babies, and pets can also be sensitive to ozone. If this is something that worries you, choose an air purifier without an ionizer/plasma wave technology or one that has an off-switch for this function.

Alternatively, check out this list by California Air Resources Board. It lists all air cleaners that have been tested for ozone emissions and certified to produce ozone in no or extremely low quantities.

Finally

‘Is an air purifier worth it?’

‘Does an air purifier help with allergies?’

‘What are the Top 5 air purifiers for allergies?’

These are just some of the frequently asked questions I saw people ask when doing research for this guide.

I want to stress that no matter the brand, purifiers are not magical devices. If you are sensitive to air quality, you can’t rely on just an air purifier to keep your home pollutant free. However, even doctors agree that they are definitely worth a try.

About the author

Karmen is a freelance writer from Tartu, Estonia whose second passion is health and nutrition.

She is currently working as a Virtual Assistant providing services to different marketing companies.

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